Introduction to Astrology
By Alexandra Blaauw
So why’s everybody asking what time you’re born lately? What’s this fascination with astrology that has the internet covered in memes, people blaming certain behaviours on certain placements in their charts, etc.
A lot of people have become fascinated with studying astrology in order to understand themselves, and to connect deeper with the people and world around them better. So why would it benefit you to learn about your own birth chart? In short, knowledge is power. You were born with gifts, talents, a life purpose/path unique to you, lessons to master, and so much more. Learning the language and tools of astrology can be looked at as a form of self mastery, “what are my greatest strengths and how can I best utilize them?”
So how does it work? Well to start off, as we all know the planets of our solar system are constantly orbiting around the sun. In astrology, the planets are also orbiting through each of the 12 zodiac signs (which affects both our personality and daily lives), and also through 12 houses in astrology (which influences different areas of our life). Imagine the planets orbiting in the same circular wheel around the sun, and depending on what time you were born, we find out exactly where they were placed in what zodiac sign and house, and that basically gives us all the information we need to understand your unique personality and life!
Here’s some images to help you visualize:
Let’s jump into the terminology of what each planet and house represents in your birth chart. Here is a visual image of the terminology in your birth chart.
The sun is the center of our solar system, as well as your personal solar system known as your birth chart. It’s sign in your birth chart is what’s most commonly known to people when they think about astrology and people’s common personality traits per sun sign.
The Sun reflects your basic personality and ego; your way of being in the world. The sun generally influences how other people perceive you and the projections you put out into the world. The sun symbolizes one’s will, sense of vitality, and your individuality.
The Moon is a subconscious reflection of your inner authentic self represented by your sun sign, the kind of person you are when no one is around, or with those you feel most comfortable with. It influences your deepest emotions, desires, habits, attachments, and feelings of security. The sign the Moon is placed in for you reveals how you nurture yourself and other people. The Moon is often associated with the home, family ancestry, and the ‘Mother.’ Many astrologers argue that this placement in astrology is the closest representation of who you really are.
This planet in astrology rules over all things communication and how you express yourself; whether written, verbal, or non-verbal. Your mercury sign influences your conscious mind: how you intellectually process information, your learning styles, and your rational problem-solving skills.
Named after the goddess of love and beauty, Venus governs your receptivity to affection and adoration as well as your values surrounding self-worth, relationships with others, and creative expression. Your Venus sign influences how the give and take of love, affection, and sensual pleasure will be expressed.
Mars is a planet of outward activity, assertion, passion, how we deal with confrontation, our sexuality, and motivation towards going after what you want.
Your mars sign will show you how you assert yourself, stand up and go after what you care for or desire, and the ways you’ll be motivated to take action.
Jupiter is the planet of personal faith, positivism, wisdom, morality, abundance, and expansion. Your Jupiter sign represents the aspirations of your higher self, and how they will be best expressed to result in further expansion.
Saturn is the planet of structure, discipline, and responsibility. Saturn suggests setting boundaries and restrictions, it brings structure and deeper meaning to the world around us. Saturn can also give us insights on our karmic lessons we must face within this lifetime. Your Saturn sign will help you understand where you need to face responsibility in your life and create a divine order and structure for your life.
Uranus is the planet that represents personal freedom, revolutionary vision, innovation, and new possibilities. This planet embodies thinking outside of the box, defying tradition, all to embrace chance and originality. Your Uranus sign will influence how you embrace originality, being your authentic self, and freedom from the conventional conditional influences in your life.
Neptune is associated with universal love, thought to be a higher octave of what Venus represents. Neptune represents the oneness of our connection to all beings. It is highly compassionate, idealistic, and imaginative. Our Neptune sign will influence our inspiration, dreams, and creative expressions. On a possible shadow side note, Neptune can also deal with illusions and can possibly point out areas in our life we deal with a lot of confusion or distortion from reality.
Although recently renamed as a dwarf planet, Pluto has still played a major influence in astrology birth charts for many years and is still accredited. Pluto can help us bring our darkness to the light in order to face necessary transformation for the soul’s evolution. This planet deals a lot with death, transformation, and rebirth of the soul self. Endings and new beginnings. Your Pluto sign can also show you where you may be searching most for truths and deeper meanings of life. Ultimately it shows you where the key areas in your life are calling for a soul level transformation to evolve.
The 12 Houses
The houses of the natal chart reveal where the energies of the planets and zodiac sign placements in our chart play out into different areas of our life. Each of the twelve houses of a chart rule certain areas of life, types of people, relationships, ideas, and life circumstances.
1st House (The Ascendant)
Combined with your Sun Sign and Moon Sign, the Ascendant is amongst the top 3 placements astrologers look at when describing your personality, outlook on life, and how you initially react/interact with the world. The ascendant is the mask we show to others, it influences the way we present ourselves which can also become part of our physical appearance. Your ascendant sign represents your persona, how you appear to others, and how others perceive you.
The second house is the house that represents how we view and handle material possessions and resources. This house also represents your personal desires and values. Your second house sign influences your mindset and relationship with physical resources such as money and possessions. There can be valuable insight found here on how to best acquire and manage wealth responsibly.
The third house represents our methods of thinking and communication, writing, and short journeys. Your third house sign can show your powers of analysis and discrimination, what your best learning style methods are. There can also be insights found on your earliest years in life here, including your relationship with your siblings (if any).
4th House (The Nadir)
This house is one particularly important influence in our birth chart. The fourth house represents our home environment, and our relationship with our Father or perhaps the same sex parent. Your fourth house sign can show insights on your family orientation, indicators of your past to understand the roots of your being and upbringing, and how your father (or perhaps your mother) was experienced by you.
The fifth house represents romance, affection, individuality, self-expression, creativity, and your connection with children (they are essentially a result of our sexual and creative energy). Your fifth house sign can give you insight on how to best release your personal energy creatively into the world. How you express yourself, whether creatively, romantically, sexually, etc can be influenced by your fifth house.
The sixth house represents the focus on our overall health and well-being. This house can show us what areas to be mindful of to avoid sickness. The sixth house also shows us where we can be of service to others, or influence our daily lives through the areas of work. Your sixth house sign can also give you insights on where you should focus your energy for discipline and self-mastery.
7th House (The Descendant)
The seventh house is interesting because it often indicates the type of life / marriage partner you will seek. This house overall represents marriage and partnerships of all kinds, it also can highlight the common issues we may have when relating to others. The seventh house is known as The Descendant as it is the opposite to the first house aka The Ascendant. The Ascendant is the house of the relationship to the self and the individual, The Descendant is the house of the relationship we have to the world of others.
The eight house represents issues related to death, rebirth, sexuality, and powerful internal soul level transformation. Your eighth house sign can give you insights on the power to change based on deeper levels of understandings and searching within yourself. The lessons you need to learn and face in this lifetime can be shown as well in order to evolve. This house can also help your understand how your sexuality is manifested and expressed.
The ninth house represents your connection to your intuition and how you still study religion, spirituality, overall a call to a specific higher learning purpose. This house can also influence travelling or connection to other countries, as well as legal matters. Your ninth house influences the expansion of all your horizons; mental, physical, and spiritual.
10th House (The Midheaven)
The tenth house is one of particularly important influence in the birth chart. The tenth house stands opposite of the fourth house. This house represents our public life, our career, our ideals and aspirations, and also possibly the relationship with our mother (or opposite sex parent). Your tenth represents the foundation of your personality, how it is manifested into the world into something concrete with ties in directly with the career / life work we are called to do. Valuable insights on any challenges you may have facing your career and life path can be found here, as well as how your mother (or perhaps father) was experienced.
The individual work we contribute to society represented in the tenth house, is released from the individual, and passed onto collaboration with others in the eleventh house. The eleventh house represents our goals and objectives through collaboration and membership with groups, associations, and society. Your eleventh house sign can influence how your aspirations and goals can be impacted by group associations and relationships with others. This house can also show you the common areas that you’ll come together to work with others, this might show insights on finding your shared missions in life and your soul family / tribe.
The twelfth house is represented by the unconscious mind, and all things hidden or that transcend the physical plane here on Earth. This house also influences our dreams, secrets, and emotions. This house can also show us a lot of valuable insight on our personal karmic lessons for this lifetime.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a champ! Hopefully this summarized introduction has given you a good foundational start to understanding how much is involved with just how unique you are!